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M People ‘very angry’ after Liz Truss walks out to Moving On Up at Tory conference speech

The prime minister’s choice of walkout song has not gone down well with the band

M People have hit out at Liz Truss for using their song Moving On Up during her Tory party conference speech.

The prime minister walked out to the 1993 hit for her much-anticipated speech in Birmingham on Wednesday.

Band member Mike Pickering, who co-wrote the song, said the band was not happy. He wrote on Twitter: “no permission given for that we’re very angry”.

He added: “So apparently we can’t stop Truss walking out to our song, very weird! So sad it got used by this shower of a government. BTW Truss labour used it with permission in 90’s. I don’t want my song being a soundtrack to lies.”

Speaking to LBC, Pickering said “without a doubt” he would have sent a cease and desist letter to the venue asking them not to play the song if he had known they were going to play it. According to LBC’s political editor Theo Usherwood, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie was in touch. He said: “Thank god, I thought it was one of ours.”

Others have been quick to point out the lyrics of the song make it a rather “bold” choice for the prime minister. Some of them include: “Stop acting like some kinda star. Just who do you think you are?” and “You’ve done me wrong, your time is up. You took a sip from the devil’s cup.”

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Labour MP Emily Thornberry was particularly amused by the lyrics: “Move on right out of here baby, go on, pack your bags.” Pickering himself tweeted: “I sincerely hope she listens to the lyrics.”

M People lead singer Heather Small’s son James Small-Edwards is a Labour councillor for Westminster Council. He too commented on the use of the song, quoting some of the lyrics that were not featured during Truss’s walk on.

He tweeted: “An apt choice! This tired and out of touch Tory Government is indeed moving on out”.

Truss’s 25-minute speech, rounding off a turbulent Tory conference, saw her double down on her controversial policies that have caused economic turmoil.

The prime minister spoke about the energy crisis and the support available to people facing higher bills this winter. She mentioned the U-turn on the contentious 45p tax issue and said she stood for “growth, growth, growth”.

“We must stay the course,” she said. “We are the only party with a clear plan to get Britain moving.

“We are the only party with the determination to deliver. Together we can unleash the full potential of our great country. That is how we will build a new Britain for a new era.”

Truss also stood by the government’s Rwanda scheme, a policy to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda. She said the government will be “beefing up our border force”. M People’s Small has previously said she is “horrified” by the government’s plans.

She tweeted last month: “Refugees fleeing war and torture need safety to rebuild their lives. I am horrified by the UK govs plans to send refugees from war torn countries to Rwanda. I stand with @Care4Calais. Together let’s #StopRwanda.”

Small isn’t the only one unhappy with the government’s policies. Greenpeace protesters caused a stir during Truss’ speech as they interrupted and held up a banner asking: “Who voted for this?”

“Let’s get them removed,” Truss said, and security guards swiftly took to escorting the pair out of the building and whipping off their lanyards.

Greenpeace tweeted: “Greenpeace activists have interrupted @TrussLiz speech at #CPC22 to denounce the prime minister ‘shredding’ her party’s 2019 manifesto promises. The PM is U-turning on fracking, strong climate action, and world-leading environmental protections. Who voted for this?”

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